I’d like to shine light on a more balanced approach to Necron lists. A sort of all comers list if you will. While the Scarab Farm is godlike against many armies, something like Tyranids manage to laugh at it, or most horde armies in general could probably take the assault easily enough.
When I build my lists, I make sure I have the means to deal with almost anything that comes my way. Be it a death star, hordes of models, parking lots, anything. A typical list I’ve been running at the 1850 level looks like this:
ScytheBarge -195 (x2)
Cryptek w/lance+pulse -55 (x2)
Cryptek w/ AP1 flamer -30
Cryptek w/ AP1 flamer+veil -60
9 Warriors in Ark -232 (x2)
8 Immortals – 136
5 Deathmarks -95
3 Heavy Destroyers -180 (x2)
This gives you solid scoring, the -required- first two turns of night fight, plenty of ranged anti tank. The AP1 flamers go into the Deathmark squad, see where this goes? Wounding on 2+ AP1 flamer, pick a squad, it will die. You can use the monolith to make sure this unit arrives when or where you need it, otherwise let them deep strike normally. This makes the Monolith even more threatening to your opponent, and with the pulses it gives them minimal chances to deal with it. I cannot stress how amazing this unit is. This list works off itself, and each part functions together to cause as much death and destruction as possible.
If you dislike the Deathmark combo, you need to bring something to the table that can deal with a solid assault army, I personally love the Lychguard for this. As they are capable of charging into almost anything and bashing its skull(s) in. They are pricey, don’t get me wrong, but with the right positioning they allow Necrons to finally go toe to toe with all the other combat units. Unless you charge a full squad of hammernators and librarian w/ nullzone, they will be able to kill their target.
As a shooty Necron player, you should be looking to abuse those first two turns of free shooting, try to deny as much of their mobility and firepower as you can before they even have a chance to retaliate. The idea is seen in other lists, Alpha Striking, but Necron armies do it much better. Unless the opposing army has a way to ignore night fighting, you are guaranteed to shoot first. Building your army with this in mind, taking a lot of ranged firepower, so you can lay waste to the enemies tanks or whatever they have for range. Capitalizing on this playstyle seems to work very well, to start yourself a leg up on the opponent, gunning down a few of their tanks, like predators or exorcists, you make it increasingly difficult for them to do anything to your armor 13/14 vehicles. This allows you to advance in relative safety while gunning down your enemy.
Thats why Doom Scythes or the Doomsday Arks seem so amazing, I have a personal preference to the Scythes, as I like the idea of killing multiple tanks with one shot. The Doomsday arks also seem like outflanker bait, those nasty wolf scouts with meltabombs, or whatever suicide meltagun they may have, which since it can’t move and fire the big gun, means you either try to outrun the unit, or take one last round of shooting before you accept your fate. I don’t know, I am slightly biased towards Doom Scythes.
HEAVY DESTROYERS. Jump infantry, with assault 1 lascannons, and preferred enemy (which doesn’t help too much yet). They’re wicked easy to hide, they put out a lot of tank hurt, T5 and 3+ so they can shrug off small arms fire, meaning your opponent can either ignore them (HORRIBLE IDEA) or shoot their anti tank weaponry at them (better idea, but still bad) letting your arks, monolith, scythes, barges or whatever you’re fielding, run rampant. They add yet another good threat that has good killing power, be it tanks or mcs, and great mobility. Heavy Destroyers get the infantry out of their tanks, so your gauss flayers can rapid fire them all down.
In the next few articles I’ll go into more detail with my Necron playstyle and which units I believe perform better, and how I play each of them on the table.